Death by Talking.

Mar 14 2011

The other night we did our first presentation for a service club. Boy, was it a hard stage to play? Talk about a sharp learning curve!
To begin with we fought our way through peak hour traffic, across the bridge and way on the other side of town where we had been engaged to speak about how we wrote the book and then to do some parallel readings from it.
We arrived in what we thought was perfect time, about ten minutes before the meeting was to begin. We parked, gathered up our notes, books and purpose built sign and opened the door where about fifteen people were standing around wearing large American election style badges.
"Wrong door," announced a woman in a loud voice. "You have to go in the bar door." We dutifully did only to discover that the first door was the right one it was just that the fellow who had arranged for us to speak was not there on that night and hadn't told anyone about it. Great start!
We introduced ourselves, accepted apologies graciously, set up and then sat down while all the rigmarole about getting the meeting going went on around us. Half were eating, half were not.
"Would you mind giving your presentation while we eat?"
No worries. So we began.
We thought we were well prepared. We had written a piece about Ireland, the house swap and the book. It was supposed to be entertaining and funny.
It went down like a lead balloon. Half of the members munched their way through the chicken and half sat there looking bored, waiting for the pain to end.
We persevered. Our audience munched on. One saviour. A big bloke laughed at all our jokes and gave us eye contact. We talked to him, bugger the rest. We talked, he laughed, we talked, he nodded and looked interested. We died. Never mind, plunge ahead, nothing to loose except face, then onto the parallel book readings.
We read the first - his and hers- a slight increase in interest levels; the second- more interest; the third - our audience is engaged and interested. We finished on a high not and the questions rolled in. We had won them over.
What did we learn? Heaps!
Next time it will be a short introduction, talking only about the book and then onto the readings. That is what people come to hear. Stand up comics, we are not!